Navigations is looking out for our fans to join us! us today

Google Search


Friday, January 31, 2014

Gartner: More than 99% of apps don't make any money

Less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps will make money and be considered a hit by developers by the end of 2018, according to research firm Gartner. Almost 90 percent of paid apps are downloaded less than 500 times every day, earning less than $1,250 per day.


"The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many," said Ken Dulaney, Gartner VP and analyst, in a statement. "However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just fun."

Mobile app use grew 115 percent year-over-year from 2012 to 2013, though 94.5 percent of all mobile apps downloaded by 2016 will be free apps, Gartner predicts.

Mobile users tend to listen to recommendation engines, friends, social networking, and advertising to find new apps available - a significantly faster, more reliable manner to find apps - as there are thousands of different programs available.

It's up to app designers to know when to release an app for free to build a fanbase, or to put it up for sale and try to turn a profit.

Leaked specs on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 Lite arrive

Thanks to a retailer listing a new slate, we should expect the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite to be announced, and released soon. Polish electronics retail site, X-Kom, listed the specs.


We should expect the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite to feature a 7-inch 1024x600-pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal flash storage, a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, 3600mAh battery, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It's modest specs will come with a modest price of just $165 for the Wi-Fi only model, but if you want some cellular 3G action, that will cost you $263 (or so) total.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Windows XP gets life extension till 2015

Microsoft has given Windows XP users a brief reprieve by announcing anti-malware support for the 12-year-old operating system will be extended into 2015. The XP end of life scheduled for April 8 will still take place as scheduled, but anti-malware protection will give stragglers an additional layer of much-needed security.


Anti-virus vendors already stepped up support for XP, saying they would continue to provide anti-virus and anti-malware defense - but Microsoft won't provide updates, and that could still leave users vulnerable.

"Our research shows that the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited," Microsoft said in a recent blog post. "Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today's threat landscape."

There are still millions of users using XP worldwide, and many businesses are still scrambling trying to migrate from the aging OS.

Automated Burger making process using machines

Momentum Machines has unveiled the 'Smart Restaurants' machine, a robot that is capable of making 360 gourmet burgers, per hour.


These burgers can be customized, which is nothing for this robot. The robot is 24 square foot machine, which is pictured above. Momentum Machines has said: "Fast food doesn't have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better."


Better yet, it will make custom orders like a pro. The robot will only slice the toppings seconds before it places them onto the burger, ensuring you get the freshest burger possible. It will slide up specific slices of meat and toppings, and is a more sanitary, cleaner way of making gourmet burgers. Momentum Machines says that because of these robots' efficiency, restaurants can cut down on labor costs, and spend more on better quality ingredients.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Apple's iWatch will start the wearable market frenzy, says analyst

The wearable devices market isn't even lukewarm yet, and if we listen to what Cantor Fitzgerald analyst, Brian White, has to say - then it won't get hot until Apple launches its rumored iWatch.


The analyst wrote in a note to investors on Monday morning: "In our view, the unveiling of useful wearable technology products that focused on the wrist (i.e., fitness bands, smartwatches) at this year's [CES] show brought legitimacy to the wearable space. That said, we believe it will take Apple's launch of the anticipated 'iWatch' to drive a more meaningful adoption rate."

Before Apple even hits the market with its wearable device, countless other companies are getting strapped onto consumers' wrists. Is Apple too late to the game? Or will it truly spark up when the iPhone maker enters the room with a wearable device?

Latest numbers for Android show KitKat and Jelly Bean growth

The latest numbers are available for Google's mobile OS, Android. We've seen Android 4.4 KitKat increase its grip on the market, jumping just 0.3% for the month.


Jelly Bean increased by a decent margin, increasing from November's numbers of 54.5%, to December's 59.1%. Gingerbread continues to slide, losing around 3% since the last time we saw these numbers. As for Ice Cream Sandwich, we're seeing 16.9% still, but this will continue to erode as people upgrade, and new devices are pushed onto the market.

Over 75% of Android devices are now running Android 4.x, which is great for developers with apps that require Android 4.x and above.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gartner: PC market shrank 10 percent, but growth possible in 2014

Global PC shipments continued to slide during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to research group Gartner, as the industry continues to look for stability. Overall, the market shrank 10 percent, as expected, though still shipped 315.9 million units in the 12-month period.


Lenovo remained the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, shipping 18.1 percent of all PC shipments in the last quarter. Ironically, China remains a tough battleground for Lenovo, though showed strong growth results in all other regions.

"Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner Principal Analyst, in a statement.

PC OEMs continue to dabble with lower-cost products, while also introducing dual-boot systems with Microsoft Windows-Google Android - or Windows-Linux machines - and shows manufacturers trying to diversify.

A Comparison Guide: The Ultimate Xbox One versus PlayStation 4

It's the comparison nobody wants, but everyone needs. The marketing behind the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was (and still is) so overwhelmingly aggressive, trying to decide between the two is like not knowing which candidate to vote for as president in the next election.

But the truth is, we're biased. Gamers have stricter loyalties to consoles than young moms have to Twilight characters; 360 owners will buy the One and PS3 owners with buy the PS4. Maybe gaming and politics aren't so different after all. Before you tow the party line, though, take a look at some of these head-to-head comparisons and you might find yourself reaching across the gaming aisle.

The Box

Slimmer is better, right? The PS4 is hands down the sleeker design next to the, well, "boxy" Xbox One. Its sharp edges and angled face make it a good looking machine. But remember, this is the next generation and not just an upgrade. When you spend $400 or $500 on a machine, you want to know you're getting full value. The One is a hoss, but it's a hoss that feels like the future. Advantage: Xbox One

The Interface

Microsoft is a software company. Sony is a hardware company. These specialties shine through when you boot up each console for the first time. From the very beginning, Microsoft made sure to let everyone know the Xbox One was as much of a media center as it was a gaming console. They want the One to be the centerpiece of every living room in America. And because of this, its UI has the same next-generation feel as the overly sized box. Granted, there's nothing wrong with PS4's UI; it's simple and easy to navigate just like the PS3, but the Xbox gives just a little extra to integrate everything from television to social media. Advantage: Xbox One

The Controller

The controller for the Xbox 360 was perfect, and for some reason Microsoft felt like it had to change perfection. In its pursuit, the controller actually takes a slight step backwards. It's still a great controller, but while Microsoft was off changing a great thing Sony took the Dualshock 4 controller and made it incredible. Everything from adding more tension in the analog sticks to improving the triggers in the back, the PS4 takes the new crown as the best controller in consoles. Sorry Wii U, you're not even in the running. Advantage: PS4

The Games

There are two ways to look at this: Right now and the long term. Right now, the launch list for PS4 is a little slim. The newest exclusive titles like "Killzone" are getting mixed reviews and popular franchise releases like Battlefield 4 are available for just about every platform out there. However, Sony exclusives like "Uncharted" and "God of War" are what make the PlayStation the PlayStation. In fact, your wants and needs in a console could come down to this very category: Do you want an all-in-one, do-it-all powerhouse? The Xbox One is fantastic. Do you want a purist's machine that focuses on games and not much else? Meet the PS4. Advantage: PS4

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cross platform DDOS botnet

A new DDoS Botnet has the ability to infect both Microsoft Windows along with Linux-based systems, according to the Poland Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). Unlike many cyber-based attacks, this botnet is only interested in launching DDoS attacks to knock certain servers and websites offline.


The Linux-based botnet reportedly handles dropping servers, while the Windows-based botnet easily hijacked consumer PCs. "Most servers that are injected with these various scripts are then used for a variety of tasks, including DDoS, vulnerability scanning, and exploiting," according to security expert Andre Dimino, in a blog post. "The mining of virtual currency is now often seen running in the background during the attacker's 'downtime.'"

Seeing DDoS attacks to turn zombie PCs into an effective botnet isn't Earth-shattering news, but this cross-platform attack is relatively unique. As bitcoin mining and launching attacks to impact certain companies is easily done when using unsuspecting machines.

Majority of PC users suffer from digital eye strain, report claims

Almost 70 percent of consumers in the United States suffer from digital eye strain from continuous use of electronic devices, according to The Vision Council. As casual consumers become more comfortable with devices like smartphones and tablets, it seems there is major concern that digital eye strain will become more prevalent. The term digital eye strain explains two or more hours using a device with a digital screen - and includes dry, red and irritated eyes, fatigued eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and back, neck or shoulder pain.


"Digital eye strain has become a large concern for the vision community," said Ed Greene, The Vision Council CEO, in a statement. "Fortunately, the optical industry has made great strides in the past year to develop lens technologies that can best address the causes of digital eye strain. Like other glasses we rely on to read and see clearly, computer glasses are transforming the way we look at computer and handheld devices."

For better eye health, the "20-20-20" rule: After every 20-minute duration, take a short 20-second break while looking at something 20 feet away. When reading text or looking at a particular screen, either increase font size or zoom in.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Scosche wants people to be active, using its new fitness wearable

Consumer electronics company Scosche unleashed the Rhythm Smart+, an armband fitness wearable that includes a heart rate monitor that doesn't include a typical chest strap. The device can connect to smartphones, watches, and exercise equipment within 100 feet. It can withstand rain and sweat, and allows for easy sync to view and save physical activity on a mobile device or PC. Release date and pricing was not included with the product launch.


"Rhythm Smart+ marks a major step forward in the evolution of our line fitness trackers," said Kas Alves, Scosche Executive VP, in a press statement. "A smaller footprint, unrivaled biometric data accuracy and compatibility with the most popular health and fitness app available create a complete offering."

CES already has proven to be a great event to showcase casual fitness products, and Scosche joins several other companies in the market. The ability to accurately track steps walked, distance and calories, and then send or share the information is an excellent advancement.

Sony PlayStation 4 global demand outpaces Microsoft Xbox 360 sales

The Sony PlayStation 4 game console has reportedly racked up more than 4.2 million units sold worldwide since launch time in mid-to-late November to most major markets. Early last month, Sony said it sold 2.1 million units worldwide, with the company clearly having a successful 2013 Christmas shopping season.


"The momentum of the PS4 system keeps getting stronger, and we couldn't be more thrilled gamers worldwide are enjoying the incredibly immersive gaming experiences along with deep social capabilities and entertainment provided by our network," said Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO, in a statement. "After a remarkable launch, we look forward to bringing even more exciting content and continuing to explore the power of the PS4 system by adding new features and services, including PlayStation Now, in 2014."

Meanwhile, the Xbox One reportedly sold 3 million units to close out 2013, as Microsoft is reportedly proud of the console's early success. Xbox One should outsell the PS4 in the United States, while the Japanese company is able to cater better to international gamers. More gamers want to use a single device in the living room, so the ability to support streaming content, social media, and more robust software is common.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Android sales to top 1 billion this year

Global shipment of PCs, tablets, ultramobile devices and mobile phones will top 2.5 billion units shipped by the end of 2014, according to research firm Gartner. Smartphones will be the driving sales leader, but ultramobiles such as tablets, hybrid and ultrabooks will drastically increase an estimated 54 percent growth.


"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs," said Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, in a statement. "Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands."

Although Apple iOS and Mac OS remain extremely popular, Google Android-powered devices will lead the pack with 1 billion units shipped. Android will have 25.6 percent year-over-year growth, compared to 29 percent for Apple and 10 percent for Microsoft Windows.

NSA looking to build supercomputer in their backyard


The US spy agency is reportedly working on a quantum computer that would break through any encryption thanks to its pure, insane amount of processing power. Edward Snowden is behind the leaks - come on, you're not surprised now, are you - revealing a program that is worth some $79.7 million, dubbed "Penetrating Hard Targets".

The Washington Post is reporting the news, stating that the majority of the research is being done at the University of Maryland's Laboratory for Physical Sciences.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB in CrossFire Video Card Review


We continue to say over and over again how impressed we are with the latest generation of AMD video cards. It has really put NVIDIA on the back foot, and for the most part we have seen the company retaliate with price drops. With that said though, as AMD launched its higher-end models, which saw the $999 NVIDIA GTX TITAN 6GB take quite a beating, the company retaliated with the GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

We had a chance to look at the GTX 780 Ti 3GB when it launched in November, and we found ourselves extremely impressed with what NVIDIA was offering. While the company managed to kill its $999 GTX TITAN 6GB in one swoop, it was a sacrifice that had to be made for them to continue to be competitive in the high-end segment.

Moving away from the talk of the highest end models, today we're talking about the one from the AMD camp that sits just below that: the R9 290 4GB. When we looked at the model in early November, we again found ourselves impressed with what AMD was offering. While dropping the X did of course bring a drop in performance with it, it did continue to look fantastic across the board. The cost to performance was great at just over $500; just like so many of the other R series cards.

With the particular card we're looking at today, following the reference design and having already looked at the reference R9 290 4GB, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to throw the two cards together, and see how CrossFire performance is. So, what does just over $1,000 get you from AMD? Well let's find out!




Taking a look at the box, you can see it's very typical of Sapphire. We've got the brand and model number clearly shown, and some of the main features, which include that 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit bus, along with support for 4K, and Eyefinity. Turning it over, you can see we've got a bit of a blurb on the card, along with some of the main features that we just mentioned, covered in a bit more detail.


Moving inside the package, you can see we've got the normal lineup of paperwork, along with a Driver CD. We've also got a case sticker, alongside two power connectors; one is a dual Molex to 8-Pin PCIe, while the other is a single Molex to 6-Pin PCIe. We can see that in typical fashion, Sapphire has chosen to include a HDMI cable, which is something they do offer on their higher-end models.

New Halo game in 2014?

We haven't heard much at all about another Halo game, even with all of the Xbox One launches around the world, but now the software giant is letting out a tiny tease, to get gamers excited.


The news is coming from a tweet from Rob Semsey, Xbox PR Manager, who tweeted: "Rest assured your next Halo journey WILL begin in 2014. #staycalm". It's quite the tease, but what should we expect? A new Halo game that will be featured on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One? A true next generation Xbox One exclusive? Who knows at this point.

Pebble releases Steel wristwatch

Pebble has just unveiled an all-new smartwatch in the Pebble Steel, which is made completely from stainless steel, and a CNC-machined body, and boy does it look slick.


The new Pebble Steel smartwatch is priced at $250, and will be available with its predecessor on January 28th, with pre-orders open today. The new Pebble Steel is a much nicer looking smartwatch, with some marine-grade premium steel helping it look beautiful. We have Corning's Gorilla Glas technology on the face, which should keep most small scratches at bay.

On the side of it, we have tactile metal buttons, a magnetic charging port on the right hand side, and a choice between both leather and metal bands. The Pebble Steel also has a new RGB LED ligiht which will indicate the charge state, but this is open to developers with the SDK.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hampoo makes a big splash at CES 2014

 Hampoo, a maker of fine tablets for multiple industries,just wrapped up the most successful consumer show at this year’s CES exhibition in Las Vegasshowing five major categories of tablets.There were many media organizations interested in the Hampoo products like the gaming tablets.
One of the products that generated the most interest was the Intel based gaming tablet with built-in game controllers. Also on display were the, full HD glasses-free 3D tablets, smart wearable devices, tablets with barcode scanners and RFID chips, educational tablets with NFC and stylus pens among others.
All in all, Hampoo showed off five main product categories of tablets: Catering Tablets, Education Tablets, Gaming Tablets, Glass-free 3D Tablets, and Medical Tablets.
Hampoo showed their Gaming Tablet to rave reviews. It adopts the Z2580 Intel processor with hyper-threading technology, dual core with four threads, and integrated second level cache of 2×512KB. The tablet features retracted professional game controllers with typical cross-shaped steering wheels, giving precise movement in all directions.

It also comes with Intel’s exclusive WiDi technology.
The other star of the show was the Glasses-free 3D Tablet that offers a full 10.1 inch IPS HD (1920×1200) for Glasses-free 3D. It has Quad Core with four threads with performance that exceeds that of popular high-end quad core tablets on the market. It supports various multimedia 3D output formats such as3DZ,TS,RM/RMAB,AVI, and MP4. It also employs Intel’s exclusive WiDi technology (Wireless High Definition Technology), directly playing 3D videos on displays wirelessly.

In all CES 2014 was a very rewarding show as there were plenty of sales and distributors that have lined up new product ideas and purchases with Hampoo. Many distributors were pleased to find out that although Hampoo releases products under their own brand they also offer manufacturing for various partners and are looking for worldwide distributors. They have a growing ODM /PCBAc(Printed Circuit Board +Assembly) business ready for further development as well.
During the launch of their new products at CES,Hampoo was recognized as a world-leading electronic products and services company, as representatives from Intel Europe, Latin America and those in charge of the whole of North America, much appreciated the Hampoo products. This helped generate a large number of foreign media interest who conducted on-site coverage at the Hampoo booth.

Comay BladeDrive G24 480GB PCIe SSD Review


Over the last couple of years, we've tested a lot of PCIe RAID SSD products. Like All-in-One CPU liquid cooling systems, these All-in-One RAID SSDs consist of multiple components that have been pieced together to provide a simple solution to what may normally be a complex configuration.

There can be a number of issues with products like these, and most are avoidable. Ever since Fusion-io released the ioDrive, every company wanted a PCIe based SSD; even if it meant cutting corners to get there. Fusion-io and other owners of true PCIe SSDs, built native PCIe to flash controllers, but such an undertaking is expensive; to the tune of $100 million or more per one report. That number is just for a simple 8-channel SATA III to flash controller, and not a full on PCIe to flash controller that can have many more channels, so manufacturing costs skyrocket.

The other problem revolving around AIO RAID products is much simpler: marketing. Since power users and gamers make up a large portion of those who purchase first to market products, many new products are steered in those directions. When it comes to storage products, gamers aren't much different than typical Facebook surfing soccer moms, aside from the need for large storage capacity, and typical SATA III SSD performance. Games are just not optimized to take advantage of exotic SSD performance that transcends SATA III levels.

The good news is that the TRIM issue was resolved with Windows 8, and Server 2012, as long as the PCIe RAID controller API supports SCSI Unmap. This allows the AIO SSDs to keep performance higher than what we associate with enterprise steady states.

So far, we've talked about who would not benefit from SSD RAID products like the Comay BladeDrive G24, but not who would benefit. The group with the largest impact is the prosumer market. Audio, video, and large resolution picture professionals can see very large performance increases from the BladeDrive G24. Then there are corner case uses, like keeping read intensive database, or other heavy I/O workstation or entry-level server activity.

LG to exit PC business

Consumer electronics company LG is reportedly preparing to exit the PC market, so the South Korean company can focus on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile products. Leaving behind PCs will give LG the ability to focus on product development for other consumer products, including the company's increasing home entertainment business.


"The market for conventional PCs has been losing its luster as smartphones and tablets are replacing the products," an LG official told The Korea Times. "We are reviewing various options in a bid to improve the profitability of our computing business."

To make matters worse, Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 has left users relatively unimpressed, which makes it even harder to woo users to upgrade their machines. PC industry leaders Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are involved in a close battle, while other companies are weighing their options for the turbulent market - Dell, for example, is rebuilding relationships with vendors while Acer, ASUS, and other companies strategize.

NVIDIA announces 192 cores chip

NVIDIA has just outed its new Tegra K1 mobile processor, which is based off of the company's Kepler architecture, which we find in desktop and notebook parts.

The NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor is a DirectX 11-capable part, with the heart of it an ARM-based quad-core processor, and a 192-core GPU that has support for Unreal Engine 4 and OpenGL 4.4. There will be two different versions on offer, a 32-bit part clocked at 2.3GHz, and a 64-bit part with a Denver CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, but just a dual-core chip.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB Video Card Review


Another day, another R series based video card from AMD. This time, we're looking at another one of the R9 cards. While the other day, we had a look at the entry-level R9 model in the MSI R9 270 2GB Gaming OC, today we're looking at the model above that: the ASUS R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB.

It has been a long time between testing ASUS video cards, but we were so happy to see the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB roll through our labs a few weeks ago. And, we were even more impressed to see it perform exceptionally well, with a really strong overclock being achieved on the model. If you find yourself thinking of the ASUS series of cards, but feel that the R9 280X $300 price tag is too much, the cheaper R9 270X version might be just what you're looking for.

There's really not much more that needs to be said. We all have a good idea about who ASUS is, and we've looked at so many AMD video cards over the last few months, that we have a good idea of exactly where each model sits in the market. So, with haste, let's get stuck into the package, and see just what ASUS is offering us here today with the R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB.




Taking a look at the box, you can see the overall design isn't anything new. We've got the model clearly shown, along with mention that it's of course one of the DirectCU II TOP cards. We can also see some of the main features across the bottom, which include the TOP Overclocked Edition, 3GB GDDR5 Memory, Digi VRM, and support for GPU Tweak. Turning the box over, you can see it goes into a whole lot more detail on the main features that are offered. We've got a good run down on the DirectCU II cooler, Digi+ VRM Super Allow Power, and information about GPU Tweak. In the bottom left corner, you can also see a description on the I/O panel. We will of course look closer at that in a few moments.


Taking a look in the package, you can see we've got the Speed Setup and Driver CD, which includes GPU Tweak. Due to when we received the card, we didn't get a complete package. Along with these two items, we also have a Dual Molex to 6-Pin PCIe power connector, and CrossFire bridge to round things out.

Samsung Galaxy S5 to have LTPS LCD display

 Tencent is reporting that Samsung is going to use an LTPS LCD display that is made by Sharp for its upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone. Most would've expected the South Korean giant to use its own AMOLED technology, but it looks like Samsung is having production problems with 2K AMOLED displays.


Samsung can't get enough of them made to be able to unleash a massive number of Galaxy S5 units, so it may lean on Sharp and its LTPS LCDs. It isn't all bad news, as Samsung owns a 3% stake in Sharp, so it is just using a partner for its LCDs. We should expect the next flagship smartphone from Samsung - maybe the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6 to use its in-house AMOLED tech, which should be in a better position.

Garmin joins fitness band market with Vivofit, and its curved display

GPS company Garmin entered the fitness band market by announcing the Vivofit fitness band able to easily track and share fitness data. The LCD shows time of day, number of steps, daily fitness goal, goal countdown clock, calories burned, and elapsed distance, which can be accessed with a button located below the display.

Garmin plans to release Vivofit sometime by the end of March, with a $129.99 MSRP with no heart rate strap - or $169.99 with a heart rate strap. The Vivofit will learn the owner's activity level and can automatically assign realistic daily exercise goals, making it even easier for users to track health. The wearable band can be worn 24/7 and only needs the battery changed after around one year of continued use.


Garmin has been a longtime leader in exercise and outdoors GPS accessories, but the company didn't want to be left behind in a potentially lucrative casual fitness market.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SanDisk Optimus Eco Enterprise SAS SSD Review


The maturation of enterprise SSDs has led to further refinement of the product stack. When enterprise SSDs began to gather steam a few years ago, nearly every product was tailored for the high endurance, write-intensive segment. The formula was simple; the high price of enterprise SSDs dictated that their destination was always high-end applications. These SSDs typically featured SAS connections, and SLC NAND, as a rule.

The expansion of enterprise SATA SSDs brought along eMLC NAND, and then finally, the widespread adoption of typical MLC NAND resulted in crashing prices for SSDs. A whole ecosystem of SATA SSD's began to crop up with an SSD truly for every usage case, from read-oriented, to mid-tier and high endurance. However, the SAS segment remained largely focused on expensive, high endurance flagship-class SSDs.

The release of the SanDisk Optimus Eco brings a lower-cost alternative into the SAS stable. The high performance expected of a SAS SSD remains in place, while the write endurance of the SSD is lower than preceding products. This provides a value-oriented SAS SSD that bucks the typical high-priced SAS trend.

The Optimus family consists of two models. The Optimus is an award winning SAS SSD designed for heavy read/write workloads, and fulfills the role of the workhorse for bleeding-edge applications. The Eco steps in and provides a mid-tier solution, with High Availability features and SAS functionality. The CloudSpeed 1000 and 1000E fulfill the role of SATA-class SSDs employed for mainstream use.

The Optimus Eco is designed for read-centric workloads, yet still features impressive random read/write speeds of 90,000/35,000, blistering sequential read/write speeds of 500/500 MB/s in normal operation, and up to 1Gb/s in wideport mode. The Eco moves to 19nm NAND produced by the SanDisk/Toshiba Flash Forward joint venture. The Guardian Technology platform delivers an endurance rating of three random Drive Writes per Day (DWPD), and seven DWPD for sequential workloads.


The Eco features capacities of 400 GB and 800 GB, in a 2.5" 9.5mm form factor. This limited capacity range on the low-end denotes a focus on high capacity for the Eco series, but it does not stop there. The Eco is also available in a 15mm chassis, with massive capacities of 1.6 and 2.0TB. This high-density trumps any performance 2.5" HDD on the market, and secures a spot for the Eco in dense applications that require high performance, significant endurance, and affordability.

While the Eco sports focus on capacity and affordability, it doesn't skimp on enterprise-class features. Power capacitors provide resilience to power loss, onboard data duplicity guards against data loss, dual port SAS provides enhanced functionality, TCG Enterprise Compliance, AES 256-bit encryption nails down security, and an amazing MTBF of 2.5 million hours provides a high level of reliability. The Eco is also backed by a five-year warranty.

There is no doubt in the performance of the original SAS Optimus; it still leads our charts as the fastest 6Gb/s SSD available on the market. The Eco has much of the same design and architecture of the original Optimus, so all of the pieces are in place for a more affordable high-end SSD.